I’m participating in Lori-Lyn’s Loving 2011, a personal retrospective of the year.
What Inspired You This Year?
Oooh, so much inspired me this year! Where to begin?! Many things were inspiring to me, but I’ll focus on two here: one, a particular person who puts me in context. And second, a general setting that allows me to expand my own boundaries.
Old Friend, Best Friend
My creative soul got a reboot from visiting my oldest BFF, Jaime Lee Currier, in Berkeley, CA. Our lil’ family was blessed to stay with her and her awesome boyfriend, Eric, this summer after our Redwoods Tour Extravaganza. Seeing Jaime is always like coming home in some way. It’s so easy to remember who I was before becoming a wife, before becoming a mother when we are together. Jaime is SO FULL of creative, YES! energy that it is totally impossible not to be infected and inspired by it. We played music, we cooked food, we drank beer and we drank wine, we played with the kids, we talked and talked and watched The Muppet Movie…and it was all glorious. It had been WAY too long, and I’m not going to let that happen again. Jaime makes everything you want to do seem possible. She is a life-long learner who loves books, just like me, and I feel like we are always feeding each the latest great thing we’ve learned about. Jaime had recently gotten into herbalism, which reminded me that I used to be really into learning about herbs back in college. Her passion rekindled my own, which is a huge reason why I took the plunge into a HerbMentor.com membership (which is awesome, as I’ve said before!).
I’m not sure about you, but for me going for walks with my kids is a VERY different experience than going for walks WITHOUT my kids.
With my kids I’m mostly concerned with everyone staying together, as I’ve got one super speedy 5 year old and one let’s-stop-and-look-at-every-rock toddler. I’m constantly yelling for one to stop and prompting the other to, “Come on, let’s go get big brother!” It doesn’t totally suck, but there’s not a lot of time left for reflection in all of this coordinating.
So when I get to get outside by myself (or with ONE kid strapped stationary in a stroller), it’s a very very differently awesome experience. I got to have a few of these moments of total nature awe this year. A few walks in a nearby park where the baby fell asleep in the stroller and I was able to sit on a bench, look out over the Puget Sound, and watch hummingbirds and western tanagers dart in and out of the Pacific Madrones. Another handful of times I was able to take a peaceful beach walk along the Sound, enjoying the crisp salt breeze, all my fellow people along the path, and occasionally an enormous Great Blue Heron among the rocks. Once I was able to go for a short hike totally alone through a nearby park where I went hunting for signs from Nature, messages in the red huckleberries, the falling giant yellow maple leaves, the babbling of the brook.
A thread of continuity flows through these outdoor, solitary experiences and the togetherness of being with Jaime: Expansiveness. Hope. Mindfulness. Openness. Aliveness. A bubbling over of my soul, too much beauty to contain in my consciousness.
Life, overflowing. This is inspiration.